val·​e·​dic·​to·​ri·​an | \ ˌva-lə-ˌdik-ˈtȯr-ē-ən How to pronounce valedictorian (audio) \

Definition of valedictorian

: the student usually having the highest rank in a graduating class who delivers the valedictory address at the commencement exercises

Examples of valedictorian in a Sentence

She was the valedictorian of her class in 1985.

Recent Examples on the Web

The film Booksmart begins with a close-up of Beanie Feldstein, as Molly, the valedictorian of her high school class. Kayleen Schaefer, WSJ, "Meet Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein, Jonah Hill’s Brilliantly Funny Sister," 20 May 2019 One of the six valedictorians this year with 4.0 G.P.A.s was Rochel Hecht, a young woman who fled a deeply Hasidic family that had objected to her desire to educate herself. Ginia Bellafante, New York Times, "Convergence in the Tale of Two Cities," 1 June 2018 The graduating class had three valedictorians — Adam Del Colliano, Mason Hoene and Jacob Wright. David Anderson, The Aegis, "C. Milton Wright Class of 2018 honors late classmate Tyler Pope," 25 May 2018 Bryan notes that four of this year’s Top 10 students at Cinco Ranch High are FBLA officers, including the valedictorian. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Cinco Ranch students serve community, learn leadership skills," 12 May 2018 That same year, Rice’s mother, Lois Dickson Rice, was valedictorian of Portland High School. Julie Pace, The Seattle Times, "Democrats lining up to consider challenging Collins in 2020," 8 Oct. 2018 The libertarian Cato Institute has issued its 2018 fiscal report card and this year’s valedictorian is New Mexico’s Gov. Susana Martinez, who is wrapping up her eight-year tenure as a taxpayer champion. James Freeman, WSJ, "Hey, Little Spenders," 9 Oct. 2018 Basis also refuses to rank students, which means no class valedictorians. CBS News, "Inside Basis, the acclaimed school network behind the country's leading high schools," 2 June 2018 John Cusack stars as Lloyd Dobler, an slacker/aspiring kickboxer in love with Ione Skye’s Diane Court, the class valedictorian. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "40 Classic Movies You Should See If You Love Rom-Coms," 2 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'valedictorian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of valedictorian

1759, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for valedictorian

valedictor(y) + -ian

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Statistics for valedictorian

Last Updated

25 May 2019

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Time Traveler for valedictorian

The first known use of valedictorian was in 1759

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English Language Learners Definition of valedictorian

US : the student who has the highest grades in a graduating class and who gives a speech at graduation ceremonies


val·​e·​dic·​to·​ri·​an | \ ˌva-lə-ˌdik-ˈtȯr-ē-ən How to pronounce valedictorian (audio) \

Kids Definition of valedictorian

: a student usually of the highest standing in a class who gives the farewell speech at the graduation ceremonies

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with valedictorian

Spanish Central: Translation of valedictorian

Nglish: Translation of valedictorian for Spanish Speakers

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